Ivanka Trump Visits Polish Holocaust Memorial, Donald Trump Skips It
On Thursday, July 6, Ivanka Trump visited Warsaw, Poland alongside her father, President Donald Trump, and husband, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner.
Trump is in Poland after spending her Fourth of July weekend in the Hamptons with her husband and kids.
While in Warsaw, the first daughter strayed away from her father and husband to visit a Polish Holocaust memorial.
The first daughter, who converted to Orthodox Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, described the memorial as "deeply moving" in a tweet.
Trump visited the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes and the POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews, CNN reports.
The Monument to the Ghetto Heroes commemorates the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, when 750 Jewish residents of the Warsaw ghetto bravely took up arms against Nazi soldiers after they arrived to deport the remaining Jews in the ghetto to concentration camps.
The fighters in the ghetto were able to hold off the heavily armed and well-trained German soldiers for a month. Ultimately, the Nazis were able to quell the resistance, slowly but surely.
Roughly 56,000 Jews were then captured, approximately 7,000 were shot, and the rest were deported to concentration camps.
In a statement on her visit to the memorial, Trump said,
It was a privilege to pay my respects and remember, with gratitude, those who tenaciously fought against all odds. The monument, erected on the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto, symbolizes the fight for freedom. I am profoundly grateful for those who fought and all those who continue to fight today.
Poland was the site of six Nazi death camps (killing centers) -- Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Majdanek -- during World War II.
It's estimated the Nazis murdered at least three million Jewish citizens of Poland during the Holocaust.
The first daughter's visit to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial was welcomed by Jewish leaders, but her father's decision to skip it was seen as an insult.
She laid a wreath at the memorial alongside Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, who said her visit was “very, very important," The Times of Israel reports.
Schudrich added that her father's decision not to visit the memorial was "sad."
Donald Trump is the first U.S. president in decades to not visit the Warsaw Ghetto memorial.
But, he still decided not to visit.
Jewish leaders in Poland are upset with the president for skipping the memorial.
A statement cosigned by the President of the Jewish Community of Warsaw, the President of the Union of the Jewish Communities in Poland, and Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, released on Thursday, said,
Ever since the fall of Communism in 1989, all US presidents and vice-presidents visiting Warsaw had made a point of visiting the Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto... We deeply regret that President Donald Trump, though speaking in public barely a mile away from the Monument, chose to break with that laudable tradition. We trust that this slight does not reflect the attitudes and feelings of the American people.
President Trump has come under criticism in the past for not being more outspoken in condemning antisemitism.
Relatedly, it didn't help matters when White House Press Secretary made some ignorant remarks during a press briefing that led people to accuse him of Holocaust denial.
In skipping the Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto, the president has arguably provided more ammunition to those who believe he's not doing enough in terms of exhibiting solidarity with Jews.
The president's visit to Warsaw marks his second trip abroad. He's also visiting Hamburg, Germany, for the G20 summit, where he's set to have his first official visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, July 7.